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Chip Eng Seng unit acquires Malaysian campus for S$24.4m

CHIP Eng Seng on Thursday said that its wholly-owned subsidiary CES Education has acquired Raffles Campus (Malaysia) for S$24.4 million.

Raffles Campus (Malaysia) is the holding company of two wholly-owned entities in Malaysia, one of which owns a freehold 79,760 square metre site in Bandar Seri Alam, Johor Bahru, while the other owns and operates international school Excelsior International School situated on the site.

The school, which has been in operation since September 2013, offers classes from kindergarten to grade 12 (high school). The campus houses learning, sporting and recreational facilities.

The acquisition, to be funded by internal cash resources, is not expected to have a significant impact on the net tangible assets and earnings per share for the current financial year, said Chip Eng Seng.

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The sellers are Excelsior International Education and Lonsdale Capital.

Excelsior International School will add to the stable of international schools owned by Chip Eng Seng and its subsidiaries. 

Also, CES Education has entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Repton International Schools to work towards rebranding Excelsior International School under the "Repton School" name.

Chip Eng Seng has entered into an earlier collaboration with Repton International in April 2018 to establish a chain of premium international kindergartens under the "Repton School" brand name, and Chip Eng Seng has since established two Repton-brand kindergartens in Singapore.

Separately, Chip Eng Seng's buyout of Sembcorp Design and Construction has been completed. The property and construction player has appointed Yam Ah Mee as its non-executive and non-independent director following the acquisition. The 62-year-old remains employed by Sembcorp Industries.

Chip Eng Seng's wholly-owned subsidiary Chip Eng Seng Construction had entered into a sale-and-purchase agreement in October with Sembawang Corporation to acquire Sembcorp Design and Construction. The acquisition was completed on Dec 12, making Sembcorp Design and Construction a Chip Eng Seng subsidiary.

Sembawang Corp is a wholly-owned unit of mainboard-listed conglomerate Sembcorp Industries.

Chip Eng Seng said in a statement: "Based on a locked-box formula agreed with the seller for deriving the consideration, the company had attributed an enterprise value of S$26 million to the commercial business as at the locked-box date... the final consideration paid to the seller on the completion date is approximately S$50.1 million."

The board of Chip Eng Seng earlier saw former transport minister Lui Tuck Yew quitting as independent director in October. He later assumed the post of Singapore's new ambassador to China.

Chip Eng Seng closed flat at S$0.615 on Thursday before the announcements were made.